Star News, Star Ananda and Star Majha will be rebranded as ABP News, ABP Ananda and ABP Majha, following Star’s decision to withdraw its branding from the channels, owned by MCCS – Media Content and Communications, its Joint-Venture with Anandabazar Patrika(ABP). However, Star will continue to be a shareholder, reports afaqs. Their joint venture stands at 74 to 26 with ABP owning 74% shares and Star Network 26%.
Meanwhile Star has said in a statement that it’s exiting from the business given the current regulatory environment and structural issues ailing the Indian cable and satellite television market and the news genre in particular, according to a report by The Indian Express.
While Star now wants to focus on entertainment content, ABP intends to promote its own brand in the news space. So, this would mean that a regional player would expand its presence to become a national player in the news space.
The ABP and Star joint venture Media Content and Communications (MCCS) was formed in March 2003. While Star News was launched in March 2004, Star Ananda and Star Majha followed in 2007. MCCS claims that the viewership of Star Ananda, the Bengali news channel is 8 million, Star Majha the Marathi channel has 12 million viewers and Star News has 48 million, on a weekly basis.
Though Star Network claims to bifurcate due to its core aim being General Entertainment Channels (GEC), there are reports that the decision could be due to months of discontent over editorial and strategic issues, including the launch of a Bangla GEC by ABP, which competed with Star Network’s Star Jalsa.
With inputs from Aman Rai